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Sale 38 Lot 1200

ARTHUR WELLESLEY WELLINGTON
(1769 - 1852) British general and statesman, called the "Iron Duke", he crushed French forces under Napoleon at the battle of Waterloo. Fine content A.L.S. "Wellington" 3pp. 4to., Elvas, May 20, 1811, to an unnamed correspondent at the start of his Peninsular Campaign of 1811 and in the same month as he was promoted to general. In part: "...I shall be very much obliged to you if you will allow certain sheep belonging to General Stewart of the number of 1200 to go to England in the empty transports...I am much obliged to you for having ordered the ships you mention in your letter...to the Mandego. You will have heard of the Marshall's action of the 16th. The fighting was desperate, & the loss of the British has been very severe. But adverting to the nature of the Contest, & the manner in which they held their ground against all the efforts of the whole French army could make against them, notwithstanding all the losses which they had sustained I think this action one of the most glorious & honorable of the character of the troops of any that has been fought during the war. I arrived only yesterday; & have not yet seen the Marshall & do not know & can scarcely form a guess what the loss is. General Houghton, Sir Wm. Myers, & poor Duckworth are killed; & General Cole, Colonel Collins...Colonel Blakely wounded. Boult retired on the 18th; & Badajos was reinvested yesterday...". Napoleon had invaded the British allies Spain and Portugal in 1807, and in 1809, Wellington requested raising the British troops to 26,000 men. Determined to stop the spread of the French empire, Wellington drove the French out of Portugal in 1810 after a series of embittered battles, leaving only a small garrison in Almeida. At the start of 1811, French General Soult took Badajoz. In May, the month of our letter, Wellington's subordinate Beresford joined Spanish forces and attempted to retake the city. On their arrival on May 8th, the allies found the city's walls repaired, and began digging trenches. Beresford had 35,000 men, including those under Colonel Lowry Cole, mentioned in our letter. Soult feigned an attack at Albuera, to no effect. The British narrowly hung on to Portugal, with the French at least abandoning Almeida. Boldly penned, light staining in spots, overall very good condition. Loosely set in matting and ready to frame.
Estimate $ 500-700

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